Book Review: Aspergirls: Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome by Rudy Simone

Being a parent of a girl with autism biases my reading interest toward books on the topic, and to date I have read a lot. Aspergirls is quite atypical of many i have read and refreshing in style.

Rudy Simone has Asperger's Syndrome (AS) and has been a strong advocate for those with the condition for some years. Her approach to writing is to say it as it is, and simply. She does this to good effect. What I particularly like about this tome is she quotes regularly from interviewed girls and women with AS and consequently adds many voices to hers in her coverage of a myriad of topics, from challenges in schools, to the impact of puberty on aspergirls. Nothing is taboo. There were also a few quotations that caused me to laugh out loud – it's good to be able to infuse some humor in what is a topic that can get quite serious.

Another aspect of the structure of the book is that at the end of each topic (chapter), Rudy summarises by providing direct advice to aspergirls, followed by advice to aspergirl parents. This is smart, very smart, as the two target audiences are vastly different and covers her audience well – and more importantly, sends clear messages to the two most important groups that affect aspergirls.

I found the book useful, but I have to concede that the book is overwhelmingly targeting Asperger's Syndrome, not other folk on the Autism Spectrum. My daughter is a high functioning autistic girl, and has many challenges that differ from AS. And yet the common ground was useful, evidenced by having discussions with my wife on various statements made.

All in all I found the book useful, clearly written, and sensibly structured.

Four stars.

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